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Sunday December 14th, 2008

Mukherjee visit a big mystery
Although the pro-LTTE political factions in Sri Lanka and South India have been hopefully waiting for an ‘immediate visit’ of Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Colombo to arrange... SEE INSIDE

GSP Plus likely to continue beyond 2010
Sri Lankan exports to the European Union are much likely to benefit from GSP+ (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) till June 2010, and even beyond, due to the complications the EU investigation... SEE INSIDE

Karuna tipped to enter cabinet
Representations have been made to the government to accommodate an Eastern Tamil to make use of the opportunity which has come in the form of a vacancy created... SEE INSIDE


       Commemoration ceremony at        
        Sinha Regiment, Ambepussa        

President Mahinda Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest at yesterday’s commemoration ceremony held at the Sinha Regiment Headquarters at Ambepussa. It was held in memory of 3,400 soldiers from the regiment who sacrificed their lives for the country’s future. The President is seen lighting a lamp on the occasion, while Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka looks on. Gen. Fonseka is from the same infantry regiment. Also present on the occasion was Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
                             (Pic by Thushara Dasanayaka)



Expat pensioners to be registered
Steps are being taken to register all the pensioners who live abroad by the Department of Pensions. The pensions of individuals who do not respond to the Department’s... SEE INSIDE

SB says he’s not a threat to Ranil
UNP National Organiser and newly appointed Central Province Chief Ministerial Candidate S.B. Dissanayaka said nothing whatsoever could prevent him from becoming the President of the country in the future. SEE INSIDE

Maharagama Nightingales hold patients to ransom for fifth day
Chemotherapy has been halted completely at the Maharagama Cancer Institute for the fifth consecutive day, with staff resorting to trade union action to win their demands. SEE INSIDE


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JJ demands CID probe against Long John
While Jonah is holidaying in Nuwara Eliya this long weekend, and maintaining total phone silence, JJ the doctor is telling each and everyone about a scurrilous mailing campaign targeting him in the Gampaha electorate. This scurrilous mailed item, already sent to some UNP voters in the district, is a photo copy of an article carried in a state owned paper on October 16, insinuating...  SEE INSIDE

Across the board reduction in milk food prices
Milk powder prices will drop by Rs.15 and be strictly regulated from tomorrow with the signing of an agreement between the government and milk companies.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Consumer Affairs Ministry and the milk power companies comes in the wake of dipping world market prices and the bursting of a commodity bubble that had kept prices high for the better part of the year. Despite... SEE INSIDE

LTTE bunker lines come under fire
The Air Force yesterday morning launched nine air strikes on the LTTE bunker lines.
Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told The Nation that the air strikes commenced from 6:30a.m. and were done using... SEE INSIDE

Economic Centres put shackles on rice, other food monopolies
Food prices are expected to drop with the opening of the Narahenpita Economic Centre today, effectively ending the Pettah traders’ monopoly.
“Over 150 wholesale outlets will be opened at the Narahenpita Economic Centre. Two more economic centres will be set up shortly in Maradana and Ratmalana to sell essential food items at reduced prices. This is to prevent traders from exploiting consumers and artificially increasing prices,” said Consumer... SEE INSIDE

Hospital staff in east to strike on Tuesday
All staff attached to hospitals in the Eastern Province will strike on December 16, if the Provincial Council fails to pay their overtime (OT) arrears since last July before December 15.
President of All Ceylon Health Service Union (ACHSU), Gamini Kumarasinghe said that overtime allowances were not paid since last July, due to the fact that Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) did not have sufficient funds to meet these commitments.      SEE INSIDE

Our military forces incomparable - President
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday declared that the operations carried out by the Lankan Security Forces are superior to any other military operation anywhere in the world, and so their achievements too cannot be compared with any other victory in the world.
The President made this assertion while participating in a ceremony held at the Sinha Regiment headquarters in Ambepussa yesterday. The ceremony was held...  SEE INSIDE



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Ailing UNP gets new lease of life
The week that ended saw two significant political events that will have repercussions in the weeks and months to come: the dissolution of the Central and North Western Provincial Councils, and the return of Karu Jayasuriya to the United National Party (UNP), after resigning his cabinet portfolio.
While the elections are a continuation of the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA)’s strategy of gaining control of Provincial Councils countrywide, it is Jayasuriya’s... SEE INSIDE

Ranil scores with Karu re-entry
It goes without saying that the return of Karu Jayasuriya to the UNP fold became the focal point of political gossip this week. Upon his return, Jayasuriya was appointed Deputy Leader of the UNP, the position he held prior to joining the government in February 2007. Speculation had been rife that Jayasuriya, who was holding the Cabinet Portfolio of Public administration and Home affairs, was disgruntled with the way in which the government was handling matters. And although... SEE INSIDE


Gigantic leap forward in power generation
Phase one of the Kerawalapitiya Power Plant, considered to be one of the biggest power plants in Sri Lanka, has been completed and is hailed as a ‘gigantic leap forward’ in the sphere of energy development in Sri Lanka.
The significance of this project is that it has been completed within just 10 months, and besides, with input from local engineers.
The Power and Energy Ministry shouldered not only the responsibility of implementing the mega project, but also had... SEE INSIDE

Rice revolution in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan farmers, along with concerned agricultural research analysts, have discovered for the first time in the world a brand new way of cultivating rice. The new method of vegetative propagation demonstrated how rice can be cultivated without the rice seedlings.
Mavee rice plants have the ability to help multiply rice plants without using rice seeds alone, Attorney-at-law and a renowned environmentalist, Jagath Gunawardane, told The Nation. SEE INSIDE


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PCB may consider playing Lanka
With the Indian Sports Minister MS Gill emphatically stating that the Indian cricket team should not undertake a tour of Pakistan in January and February in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said that it may consider the option of playing Tests and One-day Internationals against Sri Lanka next month.
Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that playing a series against Sri Lanka either at home or abroad will be the only reasonable option left for Pakistan if MS Dhoni’s men don’t come.
No major Test-playing nation is free of international commitments during January-February when the Indians were scheduled to visit Pakistan for three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 International except for Sri Lanka, which could be available after hosting Bangladesh.  SEE INSIDE

Point Blank
An issue SLC can do without

The last thing that Sri Lanka cricket wants is to get entangled into a legal wrangle. Already things are not moving smoothly the way it should at Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) headquarters and now the government has got involved in a legal battle with a leading and respectable television and broadcasting company, Dubai-based Ten Sports over the signing of a contract by the interim administration of Jayantha Dharmadasa. By canceling that extended contract which was from 2009 to 2012 with Ten Sports on the grounds that there were flaws in the addendum, SLC now faces possible litigation from the television company which has threatened to sue them for unlawful... SEE INSIDE


“Ranil lost Presidency because of CBK”
United National Party (UNP) National Organiser S.B. Dissanayake was appointed the Chief Ministerial Candidate for the Central Province at the recently held UNP Working Committee Meeting. In a wide ranging interview with The Nation, Dissanayake spoke at length about his future political ambitions.
Following are excerpts:
Q: What is the latest about UNP party reforms?
A: Well, it started when a group of UNP Parliamentarians, who were strongly opposed to the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe, wanted Rukman Senanayake... SEE INSIDE

The incomparable compère
Vijaya Corea created history in electronic media by being the first ever TV presenter of a musical variety entertainment show, which preceded the Fifth Non-Aligned Summit held on July 31, 1976 at BMICH and was televised globally.
In 1979, Corea was taken to London, Zurich, Paris Frankfort, Bangkok and Singapore by an Australian based company called Batey. This was an advertisement to promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination and the country’s new national... SEE INSIDE

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